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William Perkins and the Making of a Protestant England$
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W. B. Patterson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199681525

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199681525.001.0001

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(p.190) 8 Legacy
William Perkins and the Making of a Protestant England

W. B. Patterson

Oxford University Press

Perkins’s legacy was multi-faceted and was of major importance in securing Reformed Protestantism in England and in a significant portion of the European Continent. One commentator has called him the ‘literary superstar’ of his era. By means of scores of books, Perkins long continued to influence the religious culture of early modern England. His Workes, published by the nascent Cambridge University Press, soon reached three volumes. A great many of his books were published in vernacular languages on the Continent in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, Bohemia, and Hungary. A Latin translation of his collected works was published in Geneva. This chapter describes and analyses some of the reasons that Perkins came to be misrepresented as an opponent of the established Church. These include Archbishop William Laud’s conflation of Calvinist and Puritan in the 1630s, the partisan divisions of the civil wars of the 1640s, and the reaction at the time of the Restoration in 1660 and afterwards against those presumed to be responsible for the late revolution.

Keywords:   legacy, students and followers, European reputation, English civil wars, William Laud, Restoration

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